Oscar, a cat who lives in a nursing home, may seem like an ordinary cat but he has a specific talent: he can predict the deaths of patients with uncanny accuracy.
Oscar has been observed in 25 cases to curl up with a patient when they are in their finals hours. The nursing home became accustomed to calling family members when they saw Oscar curled up on a patient's bed allowing many patient's to have their families by their side when the died. How accurate is Oscar, in the 25 cases observed, the patient's died within 4 hours of Oscar's visit.
The Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence Rhode Island where Oscar has lived for the last two years treats patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses. Oscar, now 2, was adopted by the nursing home when he was a kitten.
The New England Journal of Medicine published an essay by Dr. David Dosa about this phenomenon in which he said that many family members take solace from Oscar. They appreciate the companionship the cat provides to their loved ones.
Doctors say that most people are so ill that they do not know when Oscar makes his appearance so they don't know that he is a harbinger of death and families are grateful for the advance warning.